Bottas has already visited the Hinwil factory and had a seat fitting in anticipation of a deal being reached.
Usually in such situations, complex commercial arrangements have to be addressed. However, the date of the 18-inch tyre test – on December 14-15 – is so late in the calendar year that it falls close to the end of any relevant contracts.
A Mercedes spokesperson told Motorsport.com that there was no reason for the team to stand in the way of Bottas testing for Alfa, adding that “we are working on it”.
“I’ve been a few weeks ago,” the Finn said of his Hinwil visit. “It’s a good factory, so they have all the facilities needed to be a strong team.
“I think they haven’t really developed this year’s car. So I’m not expecting much progress from them this year. So I think they are looking forward to next year since January.”
Bottas confirmed that he also had a seat fitting, while regarding the possibility of doing the test he said: “TBC. We’ll see. Hopefully, yes.”
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Alfa team principal Fred Vasseur said that talks about a release are under way.
“We have to discuss with Mercedes and of course and have to find an agreement on this,” he told Motorsport.com.
“I hope that we will able to find something. A contract is a contract, and he has a contract until the end of the year, so we have to find a solution.
“Even if the car will be a completely different next year, it’s a good exercise for both sides to do it, and to have the experience of working together.
“I think it makes sense for him to do the test for us, and it will be a good opportunity. It’s more about building up the relationship between the team and the driver.”